Brooklyn-based five-piece Cerebral Ballzy (either the greatest or worst band name ever depending on if you’re laughing or paranoid wasted) have been reminding everyone what really great hardcore sounds like since 2008, and their self-titled debut is 20 minutes of undeniably brilliant, fast, simple punk that preaches nothing but skate, drink, fuck and destroy. The band have toured pretty relentlessly, building up a much-deserved reputation as an intense, fun-as-hell live act and on a sunny Wednesday evening the HSS Ballzy rolls into Rough Trade East.
Not a lot of people have showed up and no one’s drunk enough to get involved, but this doesn’t for a second stop Cerebral Ballzy from throwing everything in head first, and tearing through what can’t have been more than 10 minutes of shit-kicking proper punk.
From the onset lead singer Honor Titus (with great band names come great band member names) makes the free floor space his own private pit and spends the entire set surrounded by ‘photographers’ on their knees.
The band open the set with debut single Insufficent Fare, only slowing down below 100mph to briefly introduce the next song.
Even with a stationary audience they’re genuinely exciting to watch as they blast out aggressive songs about having to go to work (Office Rocker), getting fucked-up (Drug Myself Dumb), girls (Junkie For Her) and skating (Sk8 All Day). An unnamed new song even hinted that the band is further developing its dual-guitar dynamic.
Titus swings and drops the mic throughout the set, never giving a fuck right through to the Cutting Class ending.
Even when the crowd is basically part of the décor Cerebral Ballzy still bring a fistful of the best fun, pissed-off hardcore, probably, since the 80s. Go get drunk and see Cerebral Ballzy.
By Ben Graham